A Battle in Bits and Bytes: Computer Network Attacks – The Law of Armed Conflict

A Battle in Bits and Bytes: Computer Network Attacks and the Law of Armed Conflict (The Erik Castrén Research Reports, 27/2009)

Technology is an essential part of society in the Information Age. Warfare has always had a technological dimension. In the era of information and the interconnected world, the critical infrastructure of nations has become increasingly reliant upon computer networks: by using the methods of computer network attacks many critical functions of a State could be damaged. This has raised a discussion related to States’ national and economic security concerning a new battlefield, warfare in cyberspace.

This report surveys one new facet of technology: computer network attacks, from the framework of the law of armed conflict by asking if the existing law of armed conflict, the main parts of which have their origins in the legacies of two World Wars, applies to computer network attacks. Moreover, the report addresses the questions of the perpetrators of the computer network attacks in the context of the law of armed conflict, what targets can be attacked with the means and methods of computer network attacks and how these attacks should be conducted under the laws of armed conflict.

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Cyber-Attacks and the Exploitable Imperfections of International Law

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At its current rate, technological development has outpaced corresponding changes in international law. Proposals to remedy this deficiency have been made, in part, by members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (led by the Russian Federation), but the United States and select allies have rejected these proposals, arguing that existing international law already provides a suitable comprehensive framework necessary to tackle cyber-warfare. Cyber-Attacks and the Exploitable Imperfections of International Law does not contest (and, in fact, supports) the idea that contemporary jus ad bellum and jus in bello, in general, can accommodate cyber-warfare. However, this analysis argues that existing international law contains significant imperfections that can be exploited; gaps, not yet filled, that fail to address future risks posed by cyber-attacks.

Legal Guide to Botnet Research

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The Legal Guide to Botnet Research serves as a central resource and tool to advance understanding of legal and policy issues associated with cybersecurity research on botnets. This valuable resource will help determine whether proposed cybersecurity research projects could violate laws or organizational policies. Included in the guide is the Botnet Research Legal Template, which helps clarify which laws are relevant to a particular project and simplifies the analysis required. Additionally, it highlights potential ethical issues and how researchers have been approaching them.

Protecting Against Cyber Threats: A Lawyer’s Guide to Choosing a Cyber-Liability Insurance Policy

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Protecting Against Cyber Threats: A Lawyer's Guide to Choosing a Cyber-Liability Insurance Policy provides a must-have guide to network security/cyber-liability insurance for lawyers and law firms, an explanation of the terminology and practices common in this specialized area of coverage. No matter the area of practice, type of clients, or size of the law firm, this publication will assist you in making an informed decision about selecting network security/cyber-liability insurance. The guide provides essential information on the key components of this unique insurance policy and a listing of insurers offering this specialized insurance.

The Law of Targeting

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Targeting is the primary method for securing strategic objectives in an armed conflict. Failure to comply with the law of targeting jeopardizes the achievement of those aims. It is therefore essential that all those involved in or studying issues surrounding targeting have an accurate and complete understanding of this area of law. This book offers the definitive and comprehensive statement of all aspects of the law of targeting. It is a 'one-stop shop' that answers all relevant questions in depth. It has been written in an open, accessible yet comprehensive style, and addresses both matters of established law and issues of topical controversy.

The text explains the meanings of such terms as 'civilian', 'combatant', and 'military objective'. Chapters are devoted to the core targeting principles of distinction, discrimination, and proportionality, as well as to the relationship between targeting and the protection of the environment and of objects and persons entitled to special protection. New technologies are also covered, with chapters looking at attacks using unmanned platforms and a discussion of the issues arising from cyber warfare. The book also examines recent controversies and perceived ambiguities in the rules governing targeting, including the use of human shields, the level of care required in a bombing campaign, and the difficulties involved in determining whether someone is directly participating in hostilities. This book will be invaluable to all working in this contentious area of law.